Nov 302010
Authors: Johnathan Kastner

It’s officially December. If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping, you are running terribly late, as consequence of which your parents will disown you, children will slay you for the inheritance or your rich uncle will give your inheritance to your clearly murderous half-brother.

Never fear –– with only three weeks to spare before Christmas, I have compiled a list for you, the truant shopper, to quickly purchase gifts for your friends, family and associates whom, as you will mistakenly assume are friends, purchase a gift for, receive a card and feel terribly awkward. Just skim to the relevant section and thank me with cash donations.

The technophile

Nearly anyone can be classified as a technophile nowadays, craving the latest gadgets, shiniest phones and most overpriced of things that were available for a third the cost in the ‘90s. Granted, the size has reduced by a dime’s width, and that makes it worth the extra three hundred.

Since size is so important to the technophile, I recommend a giant novelty remote. The ideal remote will also double as a TV-tray, shield or outdoor shelter. Small is currently in, so it’s only a matter of time before grossly ,inconveniently huge will swing back around.

Related suggestions: ‘80s car phones, 40-pound CRT computer monitors or an obese child.

The significant other

This is a ticklish area, as a poorly thought out gift can give the impression that you don’t care. But if income levels are different between you and your snuggly-bunny (gender neutral term for boopsy-kins), you must consider that this disparity may hurt feelings or cause a sense of inadequacy.

The easy answer is the same one your grandparents have been using for years –– stick a twenty in a sentimental card and misspell their name.
People love cash, and you can even sign it if you feel like going that extra mile.

Related suggestions: A gift card to a grocery store, a new pair of socks or an embossed pencil with their name (misspelled) on it.

The girly-girl
Girls have their own stores of knick-knacks and clothing, and it’s no secret that they may have different interests than a man on your list. If you think I’m being sexist, picture Chuck Norris in a pretty pink ballerina costume. Didn’t work, right? He found you and beat the tar out of you for imagining him like that. So, overall, some girls like some things that Chuck Norris doesn’t.

Your first instinct may be to buy the first bright pink and spangled-half-to-death thing that you lay your eyes on. This instinct is correct.

Related suggestions: Ponies, kittens and the Hello Kitty assault rifle.

The grandparent

Grandparents don’t necessarily keep up on the latest trends or technological fads, largely due to a fear that computers can infect them with viruses. They tend to prefer simple, heartfelt things like hand-crafted gifts or a nicely worded note. These things are extremely lame and are usually several versions behind the latest model, unless you are writing that note on e-Paper.

Sign your grandparents up for a high-end cell phone plan, and offer to pay for the first month. They’ll appreciate how snugly bound in their contract they are after that month, as they like cozy things.

Related suggestions: A complicated home security system that can only be disabled by a thirty-digit code, an iPod-compatible scuba mask or a less horrible grandchild.

The “don’t get me anything” person

This person is lying and trying to trick you into thinking they don’t want a gift. They are going to ambush you with something expensive. Break into their home and steal your gift (it might not be wrapped yet) so you can foil this plan pre-emtively.

Related suggestions: A surprise move to a new apartment, a surprise anaconda or a fruitcake.

Remember, when dealing with the people you love, you’ll want to focus on what item your relationship with them can be condensed to. Hence why fruitcake is so popular.

Johnathan Kastner is in his second year of his second bachelor’s degree, majoring in computer science. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

“Remember, when dealing with the people you love, you’ll want to focus on what item your relationship with them can be condensed to. Hence why fruitcake is so popular.”

 Posted by at 2:37 pm

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